As a Realtor, listing real estate is the ideal way to earn your money in this business. With this, understanding what real estate defects that could be hidden is essential for your listings. As a seller, understanding every aspect of the process employed by your hired Realtor is essential, and being able to give educated input is also important. More importantly, knowing what other Realtors hide and what should be made public and clear is also important. In essence, the more information that is given to the buyer, the more qualified, interested, and market-educated they will be when entering the home.
What Information Do You Give?
Most real estate law says that hiding material defects is illegal. This is not something we suggest, nor would be able to be fixed inexpensively if issues arise - make sure to disclose those things. Also, if it can be found online (i.e. public records), there is no reason to make it clear to a buyer, with the location or proximity to an obsolescence being a perfect example. If a buyer/agent does his/her due diligence before looking at a property, this is something that will be found with today's technology before showing the property.
What Information Do Other Real Estate Agents Hide?
Every property on the market is unique. Sometimes agents go out of their way to hide important aspects of a home, thinking they are negative. Let the buyer make that determination, it is not your job to make assumptions on their behalf. Here are five features that are more realistic to be hidden by agents:
Small bedroom - I have sold homes that have the 3rd or 4th bedroom that is so small there is no closet and a twin bed does not fit.
Large, square living rooms - A buyer is searching specifically for a home that has a large square living room (or any room size really). Imagine if their agent were able to actually know the dimensions of every living room and save the time it takes bringing to a home with a living room described as 'large' in the property description.
Fix: Give room dimensions
Is the solution to a home with poor condition to avoid putting pictures of the interior? Absolutely not. Some buyers are looking for something in poor condition. Some buyers want a move-in condition home. If the kitchen is in poor condition but the rest of the home in great condition, and you refrain from putting the picture of the kitchen, you risk bringing buyers in looking for move-in condition by not being forward about it. In most cases, your best bet is to put all the pictures up, just make them look great.
Fix: Put a picture of each main room wherever you market the property
Quality of Materials
Some multiple listing services allow the listing agent to include details about materials used in each room. Use this feature, because if pictures show quality looking hardwood floors, but they end up being a laminate alternative, that might negatively surprise a visiting buyer. If they know what kind of floors there are before going there, they won't have expectation for the wrong material.
Fix: Include lots of details if possible
Sometimes the layout of a home is incredibly unique. Unique could be a good thing, but sometimes is bad. Floor plans solve this problem very well, so consider investing in software or a service that helps make this happen. A perfect example is this App.
Fix: Give room levels, and/or include floor plans
Parking is uncovered
Most MLS services will give you the option of describing what type of parking is included with the home or property, and the number of spaces. Just giving the number of spaces is not enough, especially if a buyer wants covered parking, or a garage that is attached as opposed to detached.
Fix: If the field has specific options, use it; e.g. parking type and not just quantity of spaces
The bottom line: Don't make the choice for buyers; give them the information so they are more educated about your listing than not (within reason).
Read more about the Listing Process.
We (Joe and Chris Balestriere) are Realtors in Fairfield County, Connecticut. Our blog is meant to educate buyers and sellers and equip them with tools to get the most out of their Realtor, whether it is us or someone else. We focus on technology and how it enhances the work we do for our clients--we are not top CT Realtors by accident.